The Age Of Uncertainty (1977) a BBC series on Economics, Narrated & hosted by John Kenneth Galbraith
John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 – 2006)
The Canadian-born, Berkeley-trained John Kenneth Galbraith remained something of a renegade in modern economics - and his work has been nothing if not provocative.
BBC Production Notes
Producer David Kennard’s comments:
The Age of Uncertainty series is, as far as I know, "the one that got away." Though it featured the well-known J.K.Galbraith, it was loved by some and hated by others – partly because of his direct political assessments, and partly because the style of the films wasn't to everyone's taste: quite cartoon-like in parts, sardonic/ironic in effect. Not the traditional "posh" BBC series.
I was one of the three producer/directors on the 13-part series, which was premiered on the BBC in Spring 1977 and on PBS (through KCET Los Angeles) six months later. It was shot around the world on 16mm film, and featured many different types of special effect and reconstruction. It ran into a lot of political and critical rough water during the Reagan era, and to my knowledge was not re-broadcast after about 1980.
However, it had quite wide educational distribution. I know that the library of UC Berkeley has a copy, and it is possible that KCET/LA have a copy though I have never asked them. The BBC was unhelpful when I contacted them, and I think they may have junked their master negatives (not unusual!).
I think that the series has great historical value, and is eerily relevant today, as the financial market implodes, which Galbraith accurately foretold.
The ideas of economists and social philosophers shape actions and events even when we are unaware of their sources. They have a decisive influence on the great rush of revolution and change through which the world has passed in the last two hundred years. Professor John Kenneth Galbraith traces these ideas and their consequences from Adam Smith, through Marx and Lenin, to Keynes and to the thinking that gave shape to the concepts of the Cold War, the corporation and, now, the conflicts and concerns of the Third World.
1 - The Prophets and Promise of Classical Capitalism
The ideological development of classical capitalism in Britain and France and its flowering into an accepted certainty in the United States in the late 19th century. It discusses the contributions of Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus.
2 - The Manners and Morals of High Capitalism
The robber baron industrial capitalists of the late nineteenth century and examines their conspicuous consumption concept of earning and spending money. It discusses ways in which this concept affects our attitudes today.
3 - Karl Marx: The Massive Dissent
The film opens with a view of Marx's tomb. Galbraith enumerates the different qualities of Karl Marx. We are shown the home where he was born in Trier, Germany, and his early life history is recounted. Hegel and the University of Berlin stand out as a high-point.
4 - The Colonial Idea
Focuses on colonialism and the colonial adventure, which Galbraith considers historically and as a continuing legacy.
5 - Lenin and the Great Ungluing
The outbreak of the first world war, with its absurd unreason, should have triumphantly fulfilled Marx's prophecy of the end of capitalism. The war and the events leading up to it are illustrated on stage by posturing knights. The life of Lenin is counterpointed with the scenes of war.
6 - The Rise and Fall of Money
This program focuses on the history and function of money in society, which Galbraith considers through an analysis of the cycles of instability and inflation that plague the system.
7 - The Mandarin Revolution
This program focuses on the world-wide slump that threatened economic disaster after World War I and the role of economist John Maynard Keynes' ideas on saving the West. **Note** - there are some audio problems with this episode but it is watchable.
8 - The Fatal Competition
This program investigates the origins and development of the military and industrial economy as a result of the cold war and the continuing rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union.
9 - The Big Corporation
The corporation, as a myth and reality, is examined and dissected. Multinational corporations are prominent today, their image is similar no matter where the corporation is headquartered. Corporations are also leading the way in advancing capitalism as a form of governance that is in contradiction to and often times conflicting with democracy.
10 - Land and People
This program focuses on the role of land in determining wealth and poverty and its effect on social and foreign policies.
11 - The Metropolis
This video portrays problems of the industrial society as seen in the urban metropolis, which best reflects its uncertainty and crisis.
12 - Democracy, Leadership, Commitment
Focuses on the processes and operation of democracy with a look at the American experiment. It combines Galbraith's personal memoirs of leaders that he has known, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr, with emphasis on the role of individual action in government and organization.
13 (3 parts) - Weekend in Vermont
14 (3 parts) - Weekend in Vermont
15 (3 parts) - Weekend in Vermont
Professor Galbraith at his Vermont home with a group of political leaders, discussing the economic state of the world. His guests include Henry Kissinger, Edward Heath, Shirley Williams, Jack Jones and Professor Ralf Dhrendorf. The discussion includes inflation, unemployment, and international economic problems.
Video Codec: XviD
Video Bitrate: 1630 kb/s
Video Resolution: 560x416
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Video Framerate: 29.97 fps
Audio Codec: mp3
Audio Bitrate: 128 kbps, 48000 Hz
Audio Channels: 2
Runtime per Part: 56 min
Number of Parts: 15
Part Size: 700 MB
Ripped by freedryk
The source for these episodes were:
http://forums.mvgroup.org/ which is an excellent resource
• Register (free)
• Search 'uncertainty'
• All episodes, well seeded
You may find them elsewhere as well, with many issues or difficulties:
a) http://www.filestube.com/ has some, but they have been split into 4 parts per episode, and so will need to be stitched, and 5 of them do not work